Here's what investors are selling this year

by Tom Bailey from interactive investor |

According to trade body figures, funds saw a big net negative outflow at the start of this year.

For the fourth consecutive month, the amount of money withdrawn from investment funds has dwarfed the amount of new money being invested, according to Investment Association's (IA) latest figures.

According to the trade body's latest figures for January 2019, funds saw a net negative outflow (the amount withdrawn minus the amount invested) of £859 million.

This continues a streak of net negative outflows seen since October 2018, suggesting investors remain mostly bearish in their outlook for markets.

A total of £135 million was withdrawn from UK equity funds. This marked an improvement compared to previous months, but UK equities remain one of the worst hit equity sectors.

At the same time, net withdrawals from UK corporate bond funds stood at £491 million, the highest level since in over three years.

Both withdrawals suggest investors are still concerned over the consequences of Brexit as well as recent data suggesting the UK economy has started to slow

Also among the worst for outflows was European equities. A net total of £450 million exited the sector. One analyst notes, this was "the highest level since the 'Leave' vote in 2016."

Weighing on investors' minds was likely recent weak economic data from Germany and other major European economies as well as ongoing concerns about the US/China trade war.

However, any concerns over the trade war didn't extend to Japan, which is traditionally an economy sensitive to the strength of the global economy and trade.

Japanese equity funds saw net inflows totalling £146 million, making it the best-selling region for the month.

North American equity funds also saw strong inflows, at £134 million.

Mixed Asset's also saw strong inflows, with inflows of £367 million, making it the strongest asset class in January. According to Chris Cummings, chief executive of the IA, this was likely the result of investors hoping to "spread their risk."

Tracker funds continued to see positive inflows, with their overall share of industry funds under management now standing at 15.7%.

This article was originally published in our sister magazine Money Observer. Click here to subscribe.

These articles are provided for information purposes only. Occasionally, an opinion about whether to buy or sell a specific investment may be provided by third parties. The content is not intended to be a personal recommendation to buy or sell any financial instrument or product, or to adopt any investment strategy as it is not provided based on an assessment of your investing knowledge and experience, your financial situation or your investment objectives. The value of your investments, and the income derived from them, may go down as well as up. You may not get back all the money that you invest. The investments referred to in this article may not be suitable for all investors, and if in doubt, an investor should seek advice from a qualified investment adviser.

Full performance can be found on the company or index summary page on the interactive investor website. Simply click on the company's or index name highlighted in the article.

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